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“Wow! Incredible Dining Experience”
Review of CUCINA urbana

CUCINA urbana
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Ranked #13 of 4,894 Restaurants in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: Italian, Wine Bar
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Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Bar scene
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: 5th Avenue
Description: CUCINA urbana is a California inspired Italian Kitchen and Wine Shop. Owner Tracy Borkum's flair for combining great ambience, award-winning cuisine and unparalleled service are once again starring components in this Urban Kitchen Group creation. The restaurant is being heralded as the leader in the new regime of affordable dining in San Diego and has been the subject of praise from numerous local and national publications. The restaurant's interior evokes a modern kitchen combined with the history and comfort of an old rustic country farmhouse. A touch of home, splash of bohemia and many objects new and old attract the eye. A focus on raw, sustainable material and reclaimed local material is found throughout. Discarded fence boards recovered from San Diego county wrap columns, walls, service stations and the back bar. Chef Joe Magnanelli's menu offers affordable selections of vasi + antipasti + boards + insalate + pizza + pasta + piatti + dolce. His whimsical expression of Italian classics coupled with the use of the freshest local produce, and organic and sustainable products comprise a diverse menu with all items at or below $20. Whether dining traditionally or 'family style', guests have become hooked on favorites such as stuffed fried squash blossoms, ricotta gnudi, braised black cod and veal piccata. Wines of 'The Americas,' including California, Washington, Oregon, Argentina, Chile and Italy are among the major wine-producing regions offered in CUCINA urbana's retail priced Wine Shop. Guests are invited to visit the restaurant's retail area to select a bottle for lunch or dinner (a corkage fee of $8 applies) or purchase wine to go. Additionally, CU plays host to a monthly 'Winemakers Series,' where guests are invited to enjoy hors d'oeuvres, taste a variety of wines and mingle with a winemaker in a casual, informal setting. - Strong commitment to seasonality + sustainability - organic + local product used whenever possible - wines from the Americas and Italy - sold at retail pricing - special discounts for cases of wine to go! - Local artisan beers + italian favorites - housemade infused liquors + specialty cocktails
Reviewed May 6, 2013

I had a girls weekend with some friends, we had heard a lot of buzz about this restaurant and decided to go. We were not disappointed. It was an incredible dining experience. The service was impeccable and the food was amazing. The atmosphere was perfect for our fun night out. We started with appetizers; the stuffed fired squash blossoms and the ricotta gnudi. Both were wonderful!!! Our main entrees were equally as spectacular. I will definitely go back again.

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Thank M A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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475 - 479 of 785 reviews

Reviewed May 5, 2013

This was the highlight of our trip. From the great drinks (infused bourbon made in house) to the apps and the main course. The selection, and creativity was outstanding but that paled in comparison to the quality of the food. GO THERE, end of story.

1  Thank Robert F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2013 via mobile

How do start !!! The food all if it is just so darn good . Wide selection of menu items and bottles of wine . Yes , this place is also a wine store . Just pay a corkage fee and enjoy at the table. The staff is top notch looking to make your visit memorable . Reservations a must but worth the wait .

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Thank Russ V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2013 via mobile

This restaurant is a nice choice. The service was great, the good very good, and the atmosphere very pleasant. The only negative was that we had to wait 20 min past out reservation time to be seated. That sucked, but still a nice night.

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Thank incumeg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2013

I wish more restaruants were like Cucina Urbana, make sure you have a reservation Nice rustic feel, well designed Italian Menu and an in restaurant Retail Wine Store with a very nice selection at a wide range of price points. I was able to find a nice bottle of Washington Owne Roe Syrah for $28.00 That's actually 2 bottles for $56.00 which is what most restuarants charge for just one.

Our waiter was very knowledgable His shirt said "Think Globally, Eat Locally". The restaurant uses Itialian recipeis with local ingredients for fresh flavors. The grilled Octopus appetizer was so good we ordered a second. I had the pork chops, which I highly recommend.

If Cucina Urbana had a regular price menu like Il Fornaio - I would only give it 4 stars, but for it's courage to break the wine price barrier, good food, knowledgable staff and comfy seating, I rate it excellent!

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1  Thank ScottD58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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